Your pool’s circulation system is unique. How many skimmers (and what type), bottom
drains and return inlets, the size of pluming and type of pump and motor will vary from
pool to pool. All of these factors can influence the length of time you should run your
pump and motor to circulate and filter your pool water. Generally, this should be a
minimum of 8 to12 hours every day, up to 24 hours a day. Moving water allows your
sanitizer to work more effectively, helps prevent dirt build-up and algae and allows your
filter to effectively remove dirt and debris.
Circulation occurs as water travels into the Skimmer
(s) and Drains
through the Plumbing
to the pump. It then is filtered and returned via the Return Inlet
of the pool. Check the skimmer and pump baskets frequently to be sure that they are
clean and free of debris. When adding chemical treatments to your pool it is usually
best to be circulating the water (unless otherwise directed).
Typically an above ground pool has 1 skimmer installed, while an inground pool
may have multiple skimmers. The skimmer opening into the pool is half submerged
under the water surface. You should monitor the water level in your pool to
maintain a level that is ½ to 2/3 up on the skimmer opening. If the water level
drops below these levels the pump may begin to suck air and cavitate,
possibly causing damage to the pump and motor by
allowing it to run dry. All vinyl pool skimmers and
some concrete pool skimmers have a weir door.
The weir flaps in and out of the skimmer opening,
drawing floating debris into the skimmer. Devices such as
the Skimmer Arm™ greatly enhance the surface skimming
by extending the reach of the skimmer more than 3 Xs. The
skimmer body contains a basket for catching leaves and
debris before they enter the pump and possibly clog the
impeller area. You should check the basket regularly (every
few days) and empty as needed.
If your basket becomes
cracked it should replaced. There are many styles and sizes of skimmers available,
be sure to save yourself an extra trip by bringing your old skimmer basket with you.
Manual vacuuming is performed through the skimmer.
the manual for detailed instructions.
Bottom or Main Drains
Bottom or main drains provide an additional source of circulation by moving
water from the drain to the suction side of the pump through underground
plumbing. Drains are not commonly found in above ground pools and are
optional in most inground pool installations. Originally designed as the main
source of draining commercial concrete pools- they are generally located at
the deepest (bottom) end of the pool, hence the name bottom main drain. Today main
drains are used primarily to enhance circulation (pulling water from the bottom and
surface) as most pools do not require draining. In fact, vinyl pools and fiberglass pools
be drained unless done so by a pool professional. Please read and
follow all safety precautions regarding the potential hazards related to suction inlets and
drains on the following page.